Earlier this month UK Children's Minister Tim Loughton vowed he'd relax rules around transracial adoption, making it easier for white families to adopt black and other minority children.
But can a black child really thrive in a white home? Is love enough? And why are so many white celebrities adopting African-origin children......?
This question was answered brilliantly by Cynde. Cynde is white and American, fabulous and also an adoptee herself, and she has gone on to adopt two black daughters. She also happens to be my Aunt, through marriage, and we first became acquainted when she contacted me after reading my memoir Color Blind, which of course deals with transracial adoption. Here is what Cynde has to say on the subject:
"As a trans-racial adoptive parent my answer is yes, color does matter in parenting. Especially when adopting across color and cultural lines. To pretend there is no difference serves only to help the parent stay in denial of a color conscious society and perhaps their own racial prejudices. It also sends the message to the child that race as a subject is off limits and more subtly that perhaps the parent is uncomfortable about their child's color.
As a white parent of two black daughters I understand that my experiences are and will be different. If I'm aware of that I can foster relationships with friends, mentors, role models, teachers, neighbors and church members who's racially experiences more closely match those of my children. Having said all that, this is just the beginning of helping your adoptive child have a healthy racial identity. But acknowledging that as a member of a different race from my child I cannot fill in all the gaps in my child's identity is a start."